Sunday, September 4, 2011

Myth Busters. Tom "Killer" Kowalski

I never had the pleasure of meeting Tom "Killer" Kowalski. By most accounts he was a helluva journalist and an even better man. His sudden passing at the age of 51 shocked and saddened many who had come to know him in one way or the other over his illustrious career.

Yet, with all due respect, something needs to be cleared up. In the last several days, I've heard many people say he could cover the Lions so well because he played the game for them once upon a time.

Tom started his sports writing career barely out of high school at the Oakland Press, moved on to other pastures,  and eventually got a radio and TV gig, where many of you saw him on the pre-game shows of Lions' games.  He was really good at all of that stuff and highly respected on many levels. It's very rare for a professional sports franchise to honor a media person, but the Lions have seen fit to do so. That should tell you something about how highly Kowalski was thought of.

But let's get the record straight and maybe even settle a few bets. Tom was a multi-talented guy, but no, he was never an offensive lineman for the Lions, or any other NFL team. While he was certainly well-versed in pro football over his years of experience covering it, and may he RIP, he never played the game. Nor was he ever a "professional" wrestler. That was another guy, a generation before Tom, and only a "stage" name anyway.

Let's celebrate Tom's life for what it was, not what it wasn't.


  1. I did have the pleasure of knowing Tom. I know you are not critical of the fact that he did not play in the NFL or for the Lions. I also know that just because someone has played a sport as a pro then becomes a media man means very little in regards to how they well they do the job. " Homers " as you have blogged about before are often times painful to listen too. As much as Tom enjoyed what he did covering the Lions I never thought I was listening to a " Homer ". Tom always gave a fair assessment of what he saw. I will miss his reporting. Thanks JL for taking the time to write this blog. I believe all local "Gridiron" fans will miss him as well. When Tom takes his new seat high above I am sure he will not hear HEY YOU GET OFF OF MY CLOUD.

  2. Stoner. Once again, you get right to the root of things like an MRI, and I couldn't agree more -- on all your points. As the "Killer" wasn't above a little levity here and there neither shall I be. An unconfirmed source says you gained your amazing insight by eating a lot of Speial K. Does that really work? Please advise. JL

  3. In Regards to insight ! I love sports as many of us do. Detroit Sports seem to be the most interesting to watch. They seem to mirror what goes on in our community. Detroit always seems to spiral down first during difficult times and rebound last as things improve. As I mentioned before the only medication I know of that helps with the ebbs and flows is OLD NO 7. No JL not the Mick ! I would however be willing to try some Special K. I did not know Gridirons had it available to them. Keep the Shinny side up !

  4. Thank you for the epiphany, my stoner amigo. All this time I've been starting my day with a V-8, while you slosh back Old. No. 7 and dine on Special K. Like you, I didn't know such cuisine was available at Gridirons either. Shows ya what I know. JL